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Black Mask (1996)


Plot: Brainwashed by his masters to feel no pain, Tsui (Jet Li) is a member of China’s elite 701 Squad – a merciless team of assassins. But Tsui wants out. Escaping to Hong Kong, he creates a new identity for himself and attempts to lead a normal life.

When the city is rocked by a series of gangland murders, each hit bears all the hallmarks of the 701 Squad assassination. Their master plan is global domination of the drugs trade and, as their killing spree takes it’s mounting toll, the local cops grow ever more powerless to stop them. Tsui realizes only he can end the Squad’s reign of terror.

Personal Thought: Before The Spiderman Movie or The Hulk, even Daredevil…there was The Black Mask. Another comic book hero brought to life by director Daniel Lee. But This movie has the Edge, a lot better than the new comic book turn movies. Jet Li plays Tsui Chik, his character seems defenseless, until he turns to his alter ego ‘The Black Mask’.

This film is taken to another level, with the 701 Squad (and Jet Li) having their nerve cells removed from their body, making the feel now pain. So you get to see some creativity in the film. With such sequences when Lau Ching-Wan is fighting a member of the 701 Squad on a movie vehicle, Lau restrains him by handcuffing him to the vehicle, yet the assailant reveals a knife and simple cuts off his hand. Other scenes where Jet Li battles a member of the 701, Jet Li mange’s to impale the assailant on to iron rods, sticking out of the ground. The film shows a range of sliced limbs and torched bodies and still fighting.

Jet’s side kick in the movie is ‘The Rock’ Detective Shek (Lau Ching-Wan). Yet The Rock is unfamiliar of Jet Li’s alter ego, until half way through out the film. The Rock is a the cocky, hard man police officer. He always seems to come to Tsui’s rescue, even in the men’s toilet at one point.

Tsui and his Alter Ego both have love interests in the movie. First off ‘Yuek Lann’ (Francoise Yip) Yuek Lann was Tsui’s love interest whilst he was a member of the 701, she seemed to feel the same after saving her life, which is seen in various flash backs. For Tsui, his quiet self is too shy to admit to love interests, but Tracy (Karen Mok) seems to hold a flame for Tsui. She explains her feelings to The Black Mask. Which is rather funny when The black Mask reveals his identity to her.

The main enemy…Commander. The enemies didn’t really seem to have proper names, apart from Yeuk Laan. Jet Li was know as ‘Teacher’. Yet the Commander resembles an Asian Ozzy Osborne. Yes that is weird. Be he gives Tsui a fight in the end of the film.

My final on this movie is frank, Black Mask stands out more than any other super hero known to me. He’s original, he has no super powers, he does what is right and kicks ass along the way Black Mask is a must have, no matter what version you purchases.

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